SEATAC, Wash. -- Local immigration attorneys say about 50 immigrants among the 200 being detained at the Federal Bureau of Prisons in SeaTac have been separated from their children.
Attorneys say many of them haven't known for weeks now where their children are being held.
In a joint letter, Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson called the family separation policy cruel and unconscionable.
Ferguson says the state is looking into possible legal action.
Meanwhile, Jorge Baron, who is with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP), says he’s fielding heartbreaking questions.
“It causes us profound heartache,” Baron said.
Thousands of immigrants were detained at the border, accused by the Department of Homeland Security of crossing into the U.S. illegally.
Now, Baron and a dozen of his attorneys at NWIRP are fighting to reunite families but right now he has no clear answers on when that will happen.
“One of the moms told me, 'I know my child is calling me.' They have the sense,” Baron said.
Baron says parents and children have been separated before in previous administrations but not intentionally like we are seeing under President Donald Trump's "zero tolerance" policy.
“That we are doing this as a tactic is a thing, this is something they are doing to deter people,” Baron said.
Despite heat coming from both Democrats and Republicans, the Trump administration is standing firm
“Illegal actions have and must have consequences -- no more free passes, no more get out of jail free cards, no more lawlessness,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said.
Trump is also blaming Democrats for obstructing progress on immigration reform.
“If Democrats would sit down instead of obstructing ,we could have something done very quickly,” Trump said.
Inslee and Ferguson in their joint letter call the policy outrageous and demanded answers from Nielsen and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions about the treatment of those detained.
“It is an intentional infliction of trauma on children,” Inslee said.
“We are looking at whether we as a state can bring a lawsuit challenging this policy,” Ferguson said.
As the state looks into a legal avenue, so is Baron -- on behalf of the dozens of families he says risked their lives seeking asylum.
There is a difference in opinion of what warrants an asylum.
Baron says people seeking refuge from gang violence and domestic violence should be able to seek asylum in the country.
But the Trump administration does not feel the same way.